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How to prosper with the new GoogleA couple weeks ago we stumbled across a ten year old report title “How to Prosper with the New Google” by Dan Thies (through while cleaning out an unused desk. That’s ancient in SEO years!

The most intriguing part about reading through this 16 page document is that nearly 95% of the ideas and advice still apply today. Today we want to share some of this timeless SEO advice with you.

1. Cover your bases with keyword research.

Looking for keyword research tips? Find the right mix of keywords and phrases to target your audience(s). It is still just as important today as it was a decade ago. Stop focusing on a very small set of generic search terms. The goal of keyword research and website optimization is to identify all the possible words, phrases and modifiers which include localities, adjectives and your brand.

Look for greater coverage for all combinations of phrases and modifiers in the search results. This effective keyword strategy spreads your efforts across a larger number of searches and prevents you from putting “all your eggs in one basket”.

There are still a lot of keyword research tools to use. A new one that wasn’t available 10 years ago is a free tool for keyword research that anyone can use : Google’s auto suggest. Start typing a word or phrase and see what other related topics and terms actual people are searching for!

2. Build and effective site structure

Although the method described in this report of how Search Engines find and crawl your site has changed since the report was published we still stress a “top down” or “pyramid” structure for your website. Today this is equally important for user experience. You need to make your website easy and intuitive for both Search Engine spiders to crawl and for your visitors to discover.

3. Develop optimized content

In his report, Dan made the analogy that a site’s structure is a skeleton. Once you have a good skeleton it is time to put meat on the bones and that means content. He goes on to highlight four items still integrated into new content pages or when optimizing existing pages:

  1. <Title> tag
  2. META keywords and description
  3. Main heading and section headings (H1 – H6) on the page
  4. Using lists, bold, and sections throughout the body copy to make it easier for visitors to scan the content.

Naturally integrate keywords and different variations into the text as appropriate. Make sure these are placed in prominent places such as the title and subheadings.

4. Linking Strategy

It is still true that “Search engines aren’t terribly impressed with a website that nobody else has linked to” … however today Search engines aren’t terribly impressed with a website that is linked to just anybody in any way either.

In the last year Google has made an aggressive attempt reduce spam and the credit passed by paid links. You need relevant links from relevant websites that come about naturally, because the other website believes you will give their visitor something of value when they click on the link.

In this way a linking strategy is much more difficult today that it was ten years ago.

5. Don’t stop when you hit the top!

We don’t have to change anything to Dan Thies’ advice about what to do when you get the results you want:

“Don’t stop when you hit the top. Keep forging new relationships, keep building links, keep adding content, and keep your website up to date. Your competition isn’t going to stop trying to beat you, and that includes the folks who are still ahead of you.”

If you have been doing SEO for over a decade have you followed this strategy? If so how has it worked for you?

If you have never done any formal SEO on your website it’s not too late to start. We can help you catch up with your competition – just give our Sales Department at 888-262-6687 ext. 705 and let us develop a winning strategy for you.

Carissa Krause

Carissa Krause is currently a marketing and project specialist at 1st on the List. Over the years she has worked with clients on a wide range of projects that include areas like local SEO, backlink profile review, content development, social media, and more. Whatever the project may be Carissa focuses on achieving greater efficiencies and putting plans into action.